queue-async

A little helper for asynchronous JavaScript.

npm install queue-async
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queue.js

Queue.js is yet another asynchronous helper library for JavaScript. Think of it as a minimalist version of Async.js that allows fine-tuning over parallelism. Or, think of it as a version of TameJs that does not use code generation.

For example, if you wanted to stat two files in parallel:

queue()
    .defer(fs.stat, __dirname + "/../Makefile")
    .defer(fs.stat, __dirname + "/../package.json")
    .await(function(error, file1, file2) { console.log(file1, file2); });

Or, if you wanted to run a bazillion asynchronous tasks (here represented as an array of closures) serially:

var q = queue(1);
tasks.forEach(function(t) { q.defer(t); });
q.awaitAll(function(error, results) { console.log("all done!"); });

Queue.js can be run inside Node.js or in a browser.

Installation

In a browser, you can use the official hosted copy on d3js.org:

<script src="http://d3js.org/queue.v1.min.js"></script>

Queue.js supports the asynchronous module definition (AMD) API. For example, if you use RequireJS, you may load as follows:

require.config({paths: {queue: "http://d3js.org/queue.v1.min"}});

require(["queue"], function(queue) {
  console.log(queue.version);
});

In Node, use NPM to install:

npm install queue-async

And then require("queue-async"). (The package name is queue-async because the name “queue” was already taken.)

API Reference

queue([parallelism])

Constructs a new queue with the specified parallelism. If parallelism is not specified, the queue has infinite parallelism. Otherwise, parallelism is a positive integer. For example, if parallelism is 1, then all tasks will be run in series. If parallelism is 3, then at most three tasks will be allowed to proceed concurrently; this is useful, for example, when loading resources in a web browser.

queue.defer(task[, arguments…])

Adds the specified asynchronous task function to the queue, with any optional arguments. The task will be called with the optional arguments and an additional callback argument; the callback should be invoked when the task has finished. Tasks can only be deferred before the await callback is set. If a task is deferred after the await callback is set, the behavior of the queue is undefined.

queue.await(callback)

queue.awaitAll(callback)

Sets the callback to be invoked when all deferred tasks have finished. The first argument to the callback is the first error that occurred, or null if no error occurred. If await is used, each result is passed as an additional separate argument; if awaitAll is used, the entire array of results is passed as the second argument to the callback. If all callbacks have already been completed by the time the await or awaitAll callback is set, the callback will be invoked immediately. This method should only be called once, after any tasks have been deferred. If the await callback is set multiple times, or set before a task is deferred, the behavior of the queue is undefined.

Callbacks

The callbacks follow the Node.js convention where the first argument is an optional error object and the second argument is the result of the task. Queue.js does not support asynchronous functions that return multiple results; however, you can homogenize such functions by wrapping them and converting multiple results into a single object or array.

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